I’ve not had very much Glengoyne. To a large degree this is because there isn’t much Glengoyne available from independent bottlers. Whiskybase lists only 125 independent releases over the years. This in itself is not so odd—there are a number of distilleries whose malts rarely show up from indies, and it’s not just the obscure ones pumping out malt for blends (when was the last time you saw an indie Oban?). Some do save what they don’t put out as single malt for their house/group blends (Talisker, for example), and some only put out single malt and so keep all/most of their product for themselves (Bruichladdich, for example). It’s the casks that move between blenders and brokers that are more likely to end up in the hands of the indies. What is unusual though is that none of the 125 indie releases of Glengoyne was/is from Gordon and MacPhail. And just as oddly, the indie that seems to have released the most Glengoyne is the relatively young Malts of Scotland—they have 30 releases, twice as many as the next highest, the Single Malt Whisky Society. What the explanation for these anomalies is, I don’t know. And you might say it’s not a very interesting matter either. In which case, you must be really resentful about having read all of this.
At any rate, this 14 yo, distilled in 2000 is also from Malts of Scotland. As with all of Glengoyne’s whisky, this is unpeated; and like almost all of their whisky it’s from a sherry cask.
Glengoyne 14, 2000 (52.9%; Malts of Scotland sherry cask #15012; from a purchased sample)
Nose: A little dusty, a little metallic to start. Some raisins below that and some orange peel and also some spicy oak (not a whole lot). Gets richer and sweeter as it sits in the glass but there’s also a leafy component now. With more time the leafy note recedes and there’s some fruitcake now. Brighter and more citrussy with a few drops of water.
Palate: Sort of generically and indistinctly sweet at first and at second as well. Will water bring some of the more interesting notes from the finish out earlier? Well, let’s give it a bit more time and a couple more sips neat first. Hmmm the only significant thing that seems to happen with more time is that the metallic note that was first on the nose shows up; I guess it gets a bit sweeter too. Okay, time to add water. Well, water pushes back the metallic thing and does pull out some of the fruit that had showed up early on the finish; but it’s still very sweet.
Finish: Long. Quite a bit of fruit pops up here: orange peel again and some apricot but also sweeter elements (peach). Some cocoa powder and more of the oak at the end. The metallic note that showed up on the palate hangs around on the finish too and the fruit that I got at first gets muted. Now the fruit doesn’t hang around into the finish but the metallic thing expands.
Comments: Well, this is an odd one. Neat, the nose started out unpromisingly but then got quite nice with time; the finish started out very nicely and then turned blah; the palate was mediocre throughout. Water improved the palate and killed the finish completely. An interesting experience but not one I’d recommend a whole bottle of. (Not very far from the OB 17 yo in some respects).
Rating: 82 points.